An Essay On Vegeterianism

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School: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Course: ENGL 105: Kitchen as a Writing Craft
Professor: David Ross
Parth Patel
English 105
Mr. David Ross
Paper 1.3
Vegetarianism and Its Properties in Helping Lower High Blood Pressure Sixty-seven million American adults suffer from high blood pressure, and only about half of them have the condition under control leading to one thousand deaths per day (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention). According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, high blood pressure is the “second greatest public health threat” in the United States, and because of this fact the effects of a vegetarian diet are debated on whether or not they help lower blood pressure. People usually associate vegetarianism with eating green and having a healthy lifestyle but most people tend to neglect the fact that vegetarianism is much more beneficial than just for staying fit and health; the specific elements of a vegetarian diet play a key role in lowering blood pressure. The increase consumption of nitrates, potassium, and fiber along with the elimination of meat indicate that a vegetarian diet is greatly helpful in the reduction of blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure measures the amount of force that is put outward on the arterial walls, and high blood pressure means that excessive force is used to produce blood flow throughout the body, which is also known as hypertension (“What is High Blood Pressure”). The main function of nitrates is to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to flow to and from the heart muscles (Texas Heart Institute). A vegetarian diet is rich in foods that contain nitrates including broccoli, lettuce, radish, cucumbers, etc. Thus it is clear that a vegetarian diet will result in a decrease in blood pressure because of the increased consumption of nitrate-rich foods.

In a study conducted by Suborno M. Gosh, Vikas Kapil, and their colleagues at Queen Mary University of London, participants were fed a nitrate-rich vegetarian diet and had their blood pressure observed. Participants experienced a ten-point decrease in their blood pressure in the twenty-four hours after implementing the vegetarian diet (Gosh, Kapil). This study provides scientific support that proves an increase consumption in nitrates directly correlates to the reduction of blood pressure further supporting that a vegetarian diet is beneficial for people with high blood pressure because of the increased consumption of nitrates.

In addition to an increase in nitrate consumption, elimination of meat is also another benefit that results from a vegetarian diet. The elimination of meat is seen to result in lowering blood pressure. Thirty-nine studies led by Yoko Yokoyama, containing 22,000 people, concluded that vegetarians have significantly lower blood pressure than meat eaters. Studies showed that there was a reduction of 5 to 7 mm of mercury for systolic blood pressure and 2 to 5 mm of mercury for diastolic blood pressure in vegetarians when compared to meat eaters. The elimination of meat resulting from the diet will also reduce an individual’s risk of heart attack by 9 percent and risk of stroke by 14 percent; not only will the elimination of meat aid in reducing blood pressure but also benefit the health of an individual as a whole (Yokoyama). This study provides support that an elimination of meat is linked with a lower blood pressure, which results in a lower percentage of hypertension. Results show that omnivores have a 15% chance of hypertension while vegetarians have a 5.8% chance. The elimination of meat resulting from a vegetarian diet causes a reduction in blood pressure and in turn reduces the chances of hypertension. The study concluded “non-meat eaters have a lower prevalence of hypertension and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than meat eaters, largely because of differences in meat...
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